Dr. Oz says crucial advances in the history of medicine would have been impossible without someone having an open mind. One such advance, he says, is in understanding bacteria. Dr. Oz explains that Ignaz Semmelweis, a physician in 1840s Vienna, observed higher rates of a deadly fever among infants delivered in a hospital than those delivered by home birth. His hypothesis about the cause of this fever made him the target of vicious attacks by the medical establishment and cost him his job. He was eventually committed to a mental asylum, where he died.
"Semmelweis said it must have something to do with our hand washing techniques," Dr. Oz says. "Look at your hands—do you see anything on them? Nothing on them, right? The crazy idea that there might be bacteria on your hands causing infections was completely out in left field back then. The germ theory was still 40 years away. ... Too often in medicine, we are entrenched in the belief that we have to understand 'why' before we take that big leap forward to look into the reasons for it. That's what fascinates me so much about this whole [past-life regression] process."